Private Loans

It is important that you pursue your best borrowing option. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the federal student loan programs are almost always a better option than a private education loan. Private loans are usually more expensive than federal loans, so you and your family should consider obtaining a private loan only after exhausting your federal loan eligibility, including Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and Federal PLUS Loans. Learn more information about the two options at the Federal Aid First website. 

UNT Dallas does not provide a recommended lender list.

The following table shows that a federal student loan is a better option than a private student loan.

Federal Student Loans vs. Private Loans

Federal Student Loans
(loans made by the government)

Private Student Loans
(loans made by private banks or credit unions)

Payments aren’t due until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.

Many private student loans require payments while you are still in school, but some do allow you to defer (put off) payments while in school.

The interest rate is fixed and is often lower than private loans - and much lower than some credit card interest rates.  View the current interest rates on federal student loans.

Private student loans can have variable or fixed interest rates, which may be higher or lower than the rates on federal loans depending on your circumstances.

If you have financial need, you may qualify for a loan for which the government pays the interest while you’re in school on at least a half-time basis and during certain other periods. This type of loan is called a "subsidized loan."

Private student loans are often not subsidized. In the case of an unsubsidized loan, you will be responsible for all the interest on your loan.

You don’t need to get a credit check to qualify for federal student loans (except for PLUS loans). For PLUS loans, we will check your credit before determining whether you are eligible. Learn how someone with an adverse credit history may qualify for a PLUS loan.

Private student loans often require an established credit record or a cosigner.

Interest may be tax deductible.

Interest may be tax deductible.

Free help is available at 1-800-4-FED-AID.

You need to find out if there is free help.

Loans can be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.  Learn about your consolidation options

Private student loans cannot be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan but may be refinanced.


Source: The table can be found on Federal Versus Private Loans from the website of the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.

 Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act)

Effective February 14, 2010, the Federal Reserve Board approved final rules on Regulation Z* (Truth in Lending Act) that revises the disclosure requirements for private education loans. Private education loans will not include some institutional loans such as tuition payment plans, most short-term institutional loans, or the Emergency Payment option.

Under the new laws, a lender offering private loans for postsecondary educational expenses must first provide a disclosure about loan terms and features at the time of application and must disclose information about federal student loan programs that may offer less costly alternatives. If the initial application reaches an approval status, a second loan disclosure statement must be provided to the student at that time. If a student accepts the loan terms provided in the second disclosure statement, a third final disclosure must be provided when the loan is consummated. 

A lender must also provide the student with a 3 day rescission or “Right-to-Cancel” period after the final loan disclosure form is sent to the student. The Right-to-Cancel period means that once UNTD has certified your loan and all disclosures are sent, there is a mandatory 3 business day waiting period before the lender may disburse loan funds to the school. Note: If a lender only offers a mailed Final Disclosure (not online), then they must wait 6 days to disburse the loan to the school (3 days for mail time and an additional 3 day rescission or “right-to-cancel” period).

An additional piece of the new private loan regulations requires an applicant to complete a Self-Certification form and return it to the lender before they may disburse the loan to the school. The Self-Certification form may be found on the lender’s website. Cost of Attendance information from the University of North Texas at Dallas may be needed for the Self-Certification.

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Important Private Loan Information

All Alternative or private loan applications should be initiated by the borrower via the respective lender's website.

The Process

  • Apply online through the lender's website (you will receive the Application Disclosure Statement and complete the Self-Certification form). If your lender requests additional information, submit and send any additional information to your lender and not UNTD.
  • Once your credit is approved and your private loan promissory note has been received by your lender, your lender will then send UNTD an electronic certification request. UNTD will not be sent any information until both of these items are completed by your lender.
  • UNTD will award your private loan and submit the completed loan certification to your lender for funding. Monitor myUNTDallas for award information.
  • Once your private loan certification has been completed, you will be notified by UNTD to complete Private Loan Counseling. Private loan borrowers at UNTD are required to complete Private Loan Counseling annually. You may complete your Private Loan Counseling by following the steps here. You must complete the counseling before UNTD can release any of your private loan funding.
  • Once your lender receives UNTD's loan certification, you will be provided an Approval Disclosure Statement by the lender.
  • Once you accept the Disclosure terms with the lender, you will receive a Final Disclosure Statement.
  • The lender will send the private loan funds to UNTD once the Right-to-Cancel waiting period has ended.
  • Private loan funds will be released to your student account only if all loan eligibility requirements are met at the time of disbursement (10 days before the first day of classes for that payment period), including completion of your Private Loan Counseling.

Important Tips

Below are important points for completing the application and faster processing time.

  • Use UNTD's loan periods (one application per loan period)
    • Fall/spring term: August-May
    • Fall-only term: August-December
    • Spring term: January-May
    • Summer term: May-August
  • Use E-sign if available. If you need to print, sign and submit/mail any private loan documents, be sure to send it to your lender and not UNTD.
  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will allow you to apply for lower interest rate William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans. Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFAS) encourages you to complete and apply for Direct loans first. If you will not be completing a FAFSA and do not wish to apply for Direct loans, please notify our office.
  • If currently awarded aid to Cost of Attendance through the FAFSA, contact the SFAS office at (972) 780-3662.
  • Keep your personal contact information (address and phone numbers) updated with the Registrar, so SFAS can easily contact you if needed.
  • SFAS encourages you to research several lenders before applying in order to find the best loan for your circumstances as rates, fees, and repayment arrangements vary.
  • Private loan borrowers at UNTD are required to complete Private Loan Counseling annually. This requirement is a step in UNTD's Default  Aversion Plan; our goal is to ensure that each borrower understands how to manage their loan debt and the commitment that comes with the acceptance of a private student loan. Above all, borrowers must realize that private student loans require repayment, at the lender's discretion. You may complete your Private Loan Counseling by following the steps here. You must complete the counseling before UNT can release any of your private loan funding.